Nigeria to launch own satellite soon- Onu

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By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja

The Federal Government said it is making strident efforts to ensure that Nigeria builds and launches its own satellite in the nearest future .

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this at the official commissioning of space, seismological and other infrastructure projects at the Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics main observatory Seismic Network Centre   in Toro Local government of Bauchi state.

Onu said investment in space science technology by Nigeria was to enable the nation take a great leap and catch up with the developed world, adding that satellite will improve the quality of life of Nigerians because it will have positive impact on  the  environment, medicine, education, security, intelligence gathering, infrastructural development  and mobile telephony for good of the country.

In a statement on Thursday signed by the Head, Press and Public Relations, AbdulGaniyu Aminu the minister noted that the Centre for Geodesy Geodynamics was established to carry out earth observation research as well as predict and monitor natural disasters not only in the country but in other parts of the world.

United States and Italy, he added, depend on the data generated by the centre, adding that the centre has been contributing to the pool of data not only in Nigeria but the world at last.

Onu added that incidents of earth tremor witnessed in several parts of the country between 2015 and 2018 had made it important for Nigeria to be well prepared to avoid future occurrence. He explained that the In-ministerial Committee set up by the Federal Government on the matter is already studying the situation and will soon come up with its findings.

“No nation can plan effectively without according primacy to the occurrence of natural disasters. “The goals and objective of the centre is to achieve Nigeria’s capability manpower and hardware development that can sufficiently address space geodesy, crustal deformation, coastal deformation, subsidence and global main sea level monitoring,” Onu added.     

The minister further stated that Nigeria has a potential to be a leading nation but said this cannot be achieved without the application of space science and technology, adding that space agency was an important agency of the ministry because of its potentials to make the nation great.

The minister added that National Space for Research and Development Agency (NARSDA) is influencing the national life of Nigerians in many important ways. He promised to give NARSDA all the support to enable it predict, detect, monitor and manage natural disasters in the country.

Earlier, in his welcome address, the Director –General of NARSDA, Prof. Seidu Mohammed said that the Seismic Network and Monitoring Centre being commissioned was part of the space-based and geophysical tools that would help Nigeria in great deal in global geodetic and geodynamical activities and monitoring, prediction of seismic activities and mitigation mechanism.

Prof. Muhammed, however noted that NARSDA needed more funds to enable it acquire modern earthquake monitoring, detecting and networking equipment and establishment of more seismic stations that will be collated, with Global Positioning system (GPS) , for robust geo-hazards  studies in Nigeria and its immediate environs. 

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